Updates Coming to U.S. Distribution Automation Report: Voltage Regulators, ACR Controls

June 3, 2014
Newton Evans Research Co. is updating its U.S. Market Overview series on electric transmission and distribution equipment.

Newton Evans Research Co. is updating its U.S. Market Overview series on electric transmission and distribution equipment. Since the use of and interest in distribution automation is increasing, here are some excerpts from some of the DA topics the company reported on last time:

Automatic Circuit Recloser Controls
Automatic circuit recloser controls are the brains that monitor and activate recloser functions. ACR controls are developed by recloser manufacturers, while others are developed by OEMs such as SEL for clients such as G&W Electric for use with its highly regarded Viper series reclosers.

In 2011, Cooper Power led the U.S. market for ACR controls, controlling approximately 35%, followed by ABB (with T&B), GE and Hubbell between 10% and 20% each.

Voltage Regulators
According to Wikipedia:

A voltage regulator is designed to automatically maintain a constant voltage level. A voltage regulator may be a simple "feed-forward" design or may include negative feedback control loops. It may use an electromechanical mechanism, or electronic components. Depending on the design, it may be used to regulate one or more AC or DC voltages.

In an electric power distribution system, voltage regulators may be installed at a substation or along distribution lines so that all customers receive steady voltage independent of how much power is drawn from the line. The DA portion of the VR market is primarily for single phase units installed along MV distribution lines.

In 2011, Cooper Power Systems and Siemens led the U.S. voltage regulator market with 42% and 36% of the market share, respectively. Other major companies participating in this segment (estimated by Newton-Evans to be $140 million in 2011) included GE and Howard Industries.

Voltage Regulators - Average Unit Price Range:
Based on estimates from bid sheets, 3-phase units range from about $25,000-$35,000 per unit. Single phase VR units cost under $10,000. VR controls such as the SEL-2431 start at about $1,100 and range upward to about $2,250.

The forthcoming update to this report series will be titled "Overview of the 2014-2016 U.S. Transmission and Distribution Equipment Market: Distribution Automation Series" and should be available early this summer.

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